The end of The Century Game is at hand, and the key lies in Cap’s indestructible shield. Your Major Spoilers review of Captain America Finale #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
CAPTAIN AMERICA FINALE #1
Writer: Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 23, 2023
Previously in Captain America – Sentinel of Liberty: Captain America takes his final stand against the Outer Circle! Using information gathered from friends on the inside, Steve Rogers sets his sights on releasing the world from the Outer Circle’s influence and ending the Century Game for good.
A VERY MODERN VILLAINOUS THREAT
The Outer Circle has been playing its game in the shadows for one hundred years, espousing the ethos of “I Got Mine,” and using its money, power, influence, and technology to protect it. But the addition of a new player, James Buchanan Barnes, to their number as The Revolution (the player whose job is to work AGAINST the game), caused a rift. As the issue opens, Captain America, The Destroyer (Sharon Carter in her new masked guise), and Nomad (???) attack their stronghold, facing down the endless mechanical guards of The Machine. But her desire to protect herself and ONLY herself has led her to ruin. In fact, all the players of the Outer Circle are more focused on protecting their own investments and comforts than observing the rules of their own “game,” leading them to think they’ve beaten the former Winter Soldier right up until he and Captain America are face-to-face, best friends on opposite sides…
Or so it might seem.
YOU NEVER FIGHT ALONE
The need to construct ever-larger threats for Captain America to face has led to some truly questionable stories over the years, but the arc of the thirteen-issue Sentinel of Liberty series has taken a fresh tack. The members of The Outer Circle are different from HYDRA or the Secret Empire in execution, if not in scope, and their manipulation of the events of the 20th century to create a world that it can bleed dry explores new areas of freedom, liberty, and justice. After nearly a year of being at odds, Captain America and Bucky find common ground (and give The Power, the former prime minister of Latveria, a very grim, very fitting fate at the hands of Doom.) I enjoy both the art and the coloring of these pages, though I find the designs of the villains to be a bit drab overall. Previous issues have given us similarly reworked takes on The Black Widow, The Dryad (Peggy Carter), but Carnero’s storytelling chops bring things together successfully. Given that part of the underlying theme is that a superhero isn’t always the one you want fighting in a war, the less dynamic designs are even thematic.
BOTTOM LINE: NICELY DONE
While there are a few moments that don’t quite land, Captain America Finale #1 makes a fitting capstone for this era of Steve Rogers, and while I’m still not sure about the newest Nomad, the return of White Wolf, Ian Rogers, Roger Aubrey, and the other deep cuts combine with strong art to make for a satisfying conclusion and 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. As is the custom, there’s a new Captain America series and a new creative team on the horizon, but the wrap-up here does justice to what has come before, which is not an easy proposition.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
CAPTAIN AMERICA FINALE #1
Captain America, Bucky and Sharon against impossible odds and the embodiment of the worst that the 21st century has to offer? That's a Wednesday to Steve Rogers.